Lifestyle & Belief

J.K. Rowling reveals herself as secret author of crime novel


Author J.K. Rowling announced she will be selling Harry Potter e-books through her own online platform, Pottermore, retaining all electronic rights to Harry Potter. It is estimated that Rowling will make more than $160 million off of e-book sales through Pottermore.


Christopher Furlong

It's a magical story: a widely acclaimed new crime novel called "The Cuckoo's Calling" is penned by a first-time-author and former Royal Military Police investigator named Robert Galbraith, whose debut work immediately earns him critical accolades and considerable interest.

Except that "Robert Galbraith" is actually a pseudonym for a rather more well-known personage: a certain author named J.K. Rowling, the superstar author of the "Harry Potter" series.

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Rowling's ploy was outed this week after media and readers alike finally figured out the truth — ending a few months of anonymity that the famous author appeared to have been very much enjoying.

"I had hoped to keep this secret a little longer because being Robert Galbraith has been such a liberating experience," observed Rowling Saturday, according to the Times. 

"It has been wonderful to publish without hype or expectation, and pure pleasure to get feedback under a different name," she added in the Times interview, thanking her editor for being a "true partner in crime." 

Perhaps the secret wasn't long for this world, considering some popular reactions to the new novel before the true identity of its author was revealed. As an review of "The Cuckoo's Calling" noted: "This book is so well written that I suspect that some years down the road we will hear the author's name is a pseudonym of some famous writer."

Rowling recently released "The Casual Vacancy," a hefty adult novel that received largely mixed reviews from readers, although it will go down in history as the second-biggest adult seller since records started to be taken, beaten only by Dan Brown's "Da-Vinci Code" juggernaut. 

Rowling is one of the richest individuals in the United Kingdom, although a combination of her charitable donations and high UK taxes conspired to see her net worth drop below that of a dollar billionaire in 2012.